Collaborative Healthcare in Clinical Practice: An Effectiveness Study
Dawn Mayer (2009)
The goal of this research was to understandÂ collaborativeÂ activitiesÂ inÂ a naturalistic setting and the influence collaboration has on client outcome. TheÂ studyinvestigated whether mental health clinicians, left to their own devices, practicedÂ inÂ aÂ collaborativeÂ manner with physical health providers locatedÂ inÂ the same community, and whether that made a differenceÂ inÂ client outcome. Understanding the factors that influence outcomeÂ inÂ a naturalistic setting is critical due to the gap between efficacy research andÂ clinical practice. A retrospective review of 64 inactive client charts was conducted to abstract and code demographic, collaboration, and client outcome dataÂ inÂ accordance with a data abstraction and coding manual. Results indicated that cliniciansÂ inÂ the naturalistic community mental health center collaborated predominately through referral and written communication with non co-located providers. The frequency of collaboration with non co-located and co-located providers, type/level notwithstanding, was not associated with improved outcome. An inverse relationship between baseline functioning and collaboration was indicated. The results suggest that providers, when left to their devices, were more likely to collaborate through lower levels of collaboration with non co-located providers when the baseline functioning of the clients was low. Findings support the importance of continued exploration of the relationship between collaboration and client outcome.